Problem Solving

Because people are creatures of habit we tend to approach everything the same way every day: Get up, go to the bathroom, get the kids up, make/eat breakfast, double-check backpacks and lunches, drive to school, do errands, etc. Sounds like robots, doesn’t it?

We approach problems or difficulties in a similar fashion. When faced with a parenting puzzle, or any other puzzle for that matter, it can help to look in another direction for a solution when you hit a brick wall. Back up or do things completely different, step out of yourself and look at the problem from the outside in.

In our group we often talked about problem solving and the different methods we use. One mom made a list and went over the pros and cons to find a possible solution. One dad used an imaginary problem cloud and envisions one-word solutions. I talked about my husband who is an engineer; he “troubleshoots” to first find someone to blame— then  looks for a solution. Humor always lightens the mood.

I often stepped out of my shoes and figuratively put on those of another, as if to look at the problem through another’s eyes. What would I tell them about the problem? What are the options for solutions? What could go wrong? What else should I expect? How long will it take? After going down the list of questions I think about the advice I would give, from one parent to another, and that is what I would choose to do.

Listen closely to others. It is natural for a parent to automatically disregard or discount a solution offered by another saying, “That would never work!” or “Not with my kid!” But if you just simply listen to others, your brain includes the new information, even if you previously discounted it. From my own personal experience, I know this works. You suddenly get another idea days later that is similar to the original solution offered, but still different. It’s like a shoe, but a different style. Try them on— sometimes they fit, sometimes they don’t.

A Parents Anonymous group is a wonderful place to gather and share information that may ultimately help another. Brain-picking sessions can be very enlightening, productive and energizing. Being the best mom or dad you can be is important since everything you say and do has an impact. When you chat about your kids at school or at work you are going to gloss over the details. Why? Because you don’t want people to think you are a failure as a parent or that something is wrong with your child. In a Parents Anonymous group parents know they can be honest and share a problem, warts and all, and not be judged. Above all— you learn you are not alone. Walking through that door is the first step… Why are you waiting?

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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